Design Intern for a Day
Intern for a day? Why just a day? We had the same question and more. Read what Stella Raab, a talented, young designer from Berlin who interned for us (for yes, a day), had to say.
So, why just one day? Don’t you want to spend more time with us?
I’m a student in Berlin and there’s this weird gap between classes and my official internship that starts in September. I had one month to kill. I thought, “What would be a funny way to spend it?” I’ve never been to San Francisco before. I wanted to get experience in a new city, but it seemed absurd to do a one-month internship at an agency in the Bay. So, then I thought, “Maybe let’s just make it even more ridiculously short.”
And the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a great idea. People behave differently when you’re only there for one day. You get this intense, concentrated view into a workplace. It’s fascinating and thrilling to me!
How many agencies have you visited so far?
Other than you, just one so far. I just got here and I wanted a little time to get to know the city. It’s crazy though, because even just visiting two agencies I can already see extreme differences. I can see how vast the branding world is here. The processes are different, the clients are varied, people work in unique ways with each other – some agencies lean more into strategy than others. The list goes on; I can’t wait to see more differences.
Are these experiences already giving you a better sense of what you want to do once you graduate?
Yes, definitely. There are so many possibilities and nuanced positions. When it comes to jobs, you don’t have to be just the classic graphic designer. You have options, and that’s exciting.
Can you tell us a little more about how you got interested in design?
I’ve been sketching since I was a kid – ask my mom. I was always drawing on something. Anything! I loved creating things that you can open, that contains two-dimensionality, or that reveals itself slowly over time.
When I first considered going to design school, I was doubtful. Most of my fellow students are a couple years younger than me. I thought, “Should I really go? Is it really going to be worth it?”
But I took the leap, and I’m so thankful I did. Now, I just get more and more passionate about design – and I’m always looking for people who share that same passion!
What was your artistic turning point?
I worked on Brut Magazine, a magazine at my university, and was a part of a super inspiring team. My main task was conducting and designing an interview with Tom Bieling all about the power of design. He designed gloves that help deaf and blind people receive SMS messages. It really illustrated how design is the future for me, and I knew I had to be a part of it. It wasn’t just about creating something pretty or being perfect, it was about making about impact.
How important is collaboration to you?
Collaboration is so key, but it has to be the right kind. You need different opinions on a team to design something truly impactful. You need an explanation, and you need people who are going to challenge each other. Design can’t be comfortable. With collaboration should always come challenge. You have to constantly be seeing new things and seeing the same things differently.
What do you think of the Bay Area? Any favorite spots you’ve discovered?
I loved spending the afternoon in the SFMOMA the other day. Otherwise, I’ve just been discovering so many tiny streets I love. I found this park that overlooks the financial district. It felt like a quiet, hidden nook of the city. I love those kind of modest corners that feel like they are all yours.
We love your sketch book. There’s so much richness and creativity in there. What are your favorite types of things to sketch?
As you can see, I prefer to draw birds more than humans because birds never complain. People always have something to say about the way you draw them.
How will you chronicle your one day intern project?
I’m going to create a video. I’m taking at least one minute of footage a day at every place I visit. I’ve already collected so many memories and impressions. I wish I could capture them all.